If you are a motorcycle enthusiast, then you know the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650. This bike is not only a classic, but it has also become an icon in the world of motorcycling. In this blog post, we are going to take a look at what makes the Enfield Continental GT 650 so special and how it has been reimagined for modern times.
- 1 History of the Royal Enfield Continental GT
- 2 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 Review
- 3 Alarm bells…
- 4 History lesson
- 5 Style for days
- 6 Engine torque
- 7 The Reimagining of the Continental GT
- 8 Design Features
- 9 Performance
- 10 Customization Options
- 11 Specs: Royal Enfield Continental GT 650
- 12 Conclusion
History of the Royal Enfield Continental GT
The original Royal Enfield Continental GT was first introduced in 1965. It was designed as a café racer and quickly became popular among young riders who loved its sleek design and powerful engine. The bike was built on a featherbed frame and had a 250cc engine that produced 21 horsepower.
Over the years, the bike underwent several changes, including an increase in engine size to 535cc and changes to the frame. However, it remained true to its roots as a café racer and continued to be popular among riders who appreciated its classic style.
Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 Review
The Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 is part of a growing push towards affordable, learner-friendly motorcycles. The motorcycle industry is currently going through a renaissance. For manufacturers, a changing political, financial and social landscape is forcing a subtle shift towards cheaper and smaller bikes. Some might interpret this as negative, but there are signs it could be the beginning of an exciting new age of motorcycling. Take the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650, for example.
Launched in 2018 alongside its twin, the Interceptor 650, the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 is a café-racer-style machine powered by a learner-approved 648cc parallel-twin engine. Built in India, it is a simple bike that forgoes all but necessary modern technology and checks in at a bargain price of $9990.
Not so long ago, alarm bells would have been ringing. Manufacturers once looked to developing markets like India and China to reduce costs, resulting in cheap and somewhat less-than-reliable motorcycles. Royal Enfield itself has had its fair share of issues over its long history, but times are changing.
I once dreamed of owning expensive high-performance motorcycles packed with modern technology. A low-power, cheap and basic machine wasn’t part of my plans. But I now look at the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 as a bike I would buy. Sure, it isn’t a masterpiece, but it’s a bike that I can afford and one that is incredibly fun to ride. More people are starting to think the same way.
The reality is that motorcycling has struggled in recent years due to rising ownership costs and changing social attitudes among other factors; fewer people are buying big-dollar high-performance models compared to young people in the ‘50s and ‘60s where riding motorcycles was more appealing for them . But I believe -and I don’t think I’m the only one- that these more affordable smaller-capacity machines could attract a new generation of riders and help arrest that downward trajectory.
The Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 (and the Interceptor 650 for that matter) is evidence that Royal Enfield is coming of age and part of the changing guard in the motorcycle world. It’s a strange thing to say for a brand dating back to 1901, but a quick look at the past reveals why Royal Enfield has taken so long to get its act together.
Royal Enfield, as we know it today, started life in 1955 as Enfield of India. The original Royal Enfield dates back to 1891 when a couple of Redditch locals purchased a sewing needle company. The first ‘Royal Enfield’ motorcycle came in 1901, and the company went on to play an integral role in Britain’s rise as a motorcycling superpower.
The Royal Enfield name carries over a century of history Enfield of India was born when India’s Madras Motors was granted a license to produce Royal Enfields for Indian markets. The Redditch-based Royal Enfield closed its doors for good in 1970, but Enfield of India carried on. The company was taken over by Eicher Motors in 1994, and it adopted the Royal Enfield name.
Until recently, the Chennai-based company has focused on domestic markets becoming India’s most popular motorcycle brand. But under CEO Siddhartha Lal’s guidance, Royal Enfield has set its sights on global domination with models like the Continental GT 650 being its launch pad.
Style for days
The Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 oozes heritage; it may be built-in India, but the spirit of Redditch runs through its veins. In fact, sat next to the original 1965 Continental GT, you might have to do a double-take. A modern paint scheme and smattering of modern technology give up the game, but the Conti GT 650 feels very much like a classic bike.
The Continental GT 650 simply oozes style All the cool kids use the term ‘modern classic’ these days, but it almost doesn’t apply here. The Continental GT 650 not only has vintage styling, but it also has a vintage mindset. The café racer scene of the ‘60s ended well before I arrived on this planet, but I imagine that experience back then is not that far removed from riding the Continental GT 650 today.
The Continental GT 650 may not be that far removed from the original Continental GT.
At the heart of the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 is a 648cc air/oil-cooled, fuel-injected parallel-twin engine paired with a six-speed gearbox and slipper clutch.
The Reimagining of the Continental GT
In 2018, Royal Enfield launched the new Continental GT 650. This bike was built from scratch with modern technology, while still paying homage to its classic roots. The bike features a new tubular steel frame that is both lighter and stronger than previous models.
One of the most significant changes is the new engine. The Continental GT now features a 648cc parallel-twin engine that produces over 47 horsepower. This gives the bike plenty of power without sacrificing its classic style.
The suspension has also been upgraded with front forks that feature preload adjustment and gas-charged twin shock absorbers on the rear. This provides riders with greater control over their ride and ensures a smooth ride even on rough roads.
When it comes to design features, there are several things that make the Enfield Continental GT 650 stand out. First and foremost is the bike’s classic café racer style. The bike features a low-slung clip-on handlebar, single seat, and twin upswept exhausts that provide a sporty look.
The bike also has a large fuel tank with knee grips that allow riders to maintain a comfortable riding position for longer periods. The tank has been designed to resemble the original Continental GT while still providing modern functionality.
Other design features include a digital instrument cluster that provides riders with all the information they need at a glance. The bike also has LED lighting on the front and rear, ensuring visibility in any condition.
When it comes to performance, the Enfield Continental GT 650 does not disappoint. The new engine produces plenty of power and torque, allowing riders to easily tackle any road or terrain.
The bike also has improved handling thanks to its lighter frame and upgraded suspension. This allows riders to take corners with ease and maintain control over their ride even at high speeds.
Additionally, the Brembo brakes on the front and rear provide excellent stopping power, ensuring that riders can stop quickly when needed.
For those who want to make their Enfield Continental GT 650 truly unique, there are several customization options available. Royal Enfield offers a range of accessories including different seats, handlebars, mirrors, luggage racks, and more.
In addition to official accessories, there is also a thriving aftermarket community that offers custom parts for the bike. This allows riders to truly make their bike their own and create something that reflects their personality and style.
Specs: Royal Enfield Continental GT 650
Type: Air/oil-cooled, SOHC, eight-valve, four-stroke parallel-twin
Bore x stroke: 78mm x 67.8mm
Compression ratio: 9.5:1
Fuel system: Electronic fuel injection
Claimed maximum power: 47hp (34.6kW) at 7100rpm
Claimed maximum torque: 52Nm at 4000rpm
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Final drive: Chain
CHASSIS AND RUNNING GEAR
Frame: Tubular steel double cradle
Front suspension: 41mm fork, non-adjustable
Rear suspension: Twin shocks, adjustable for preload
Front brakes: Single 320mm disc with twin-piston caliper, ABS equipped
Rear brake: Single 240mm disc with single-piston caliper, ABS equipped
Tyres: Pirelli Phantom Sport – 100/90-18 front, 130/70-18 rear
DIMENSIONS AND CAPACITIES
Claimed dry weight: 198kg
Seat height: 790mm
Fuel capacity: 12.5 litres
Price: $9990 ride away
Colours: Black Magic, Ventura Blue, Mister Clean, Dr Mayhem or Ice Queen
Overall, the Enfield Continental GT 650 is an excellent reimagining of a classic motorcycle. It combines modern technology with classic styling to create a bike that is both powerful and beautiful. Whether you are an experienced rider or just starting out, this bike is sure to impress.